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Position on Kiretch Tepe Sirt


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#26 michaeldr

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:17 PM

32nd Inf Brigade 'last few days of August' and 11th Div Gen Staff proposals for 32nd Brigade objectives per their 7th Oct, both seem to concur on the nomenclature for the topography.
Perhaps instead of 'when,' I should have asked 'Who?'

#27 michaeldr

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 06:19 PM

Steve,

I can find a Lt Col Whyte DSO, who, looking back through the fog of many years, thought that he remembered that Jephson's Post was at the Bench Mark, but I cannot find any refs to support moving The Pimple westwards.

Yet another map showing the position of The Bench Mark
Posted Image

Apart from recent re-prints of histories and guide books, do you have any 1915 maps showing The Pimple in a position which differs from all those examples already given above; if so, then that would be useful here

regards
Michael

#28 Krithia

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 09:41 PM

Jephson's Post and the BM feature in many maps, but the Pimple is almost as elusive as the Scarlet variety.

The Pals at Suvla Bay is of course a 1916 publication so just post war, and Hargraves is based heavily on this as he was Irish attached (32 Bde if my memory serves me correctly). I have not discounted the OH map even though it is also post war. I am still settling on the middle ground, its neither at the BM 'Turkish lines' or at the Third Cairn ... its in between. I think this is why it is marked differently in so many references. This is maybe one that is never proved 100%. If you think about the number of incorrectly captioned photos and maps, of the period and after, it makes certainty a difficulty.

#29 michaeldr

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:09 AM

Reviewing the examples given so far, then those from the War Diaries which were drawn at the time, are consistent in placing The Pimple at the end of the ridge, opposite Kidney Hill, and not further westwards towards the centre of the ridge. The only variations to this which have been presented so far are not from 1915 and therefore these latter must remain suspect.

#30 Neil2

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:51 PM

Thanks everyone - especially for the maps (many not seen before) and overlays.

#31 Gully Ravine

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:48 PM

One photo attached, two to follow which I hope might help? The first shows what I had previously determined is the location of The Pimple (centre of picture on the ridge). The photo was taken looking in a northerly direction from the north side of Kidney Hill. On the original (unreduced) photo, when zooming in, it is possible to see a stick protruding from the top of a cairn. The second photo is the cairn itself. The third is taken from directly in front of Azmac cemetery showing the ridge from west (left) to east. The point which I (currently!) believe is The Pimple is under the blue spot, with the Hogsback to its left and Jephson's Post above the western end of the cemetery.

On a previous visit to what I believe was Jephson's Post, I took a satnav reading (from a phone so maybe not 100% accurate) of E 26 15' 52" N 40 20' 09".

Keith

I believe this to be the cairn at The Pimple.

Keith

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#32 Gully Ravine

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:51 PM

The third photo is of the ridge itself with The Pimple under the bue spot. Looks like these photos may have been put back together in the post?

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#33 Neil2

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:55 PM

Great pictures, Gully. That last one shows how far back the trench line was across the plain too - somewhere about in line with the cemetery? I had always imagined it being somewhere near the foothills but it really isn't, is it? Given the proximity of the Turkish and British trenches on the plain, shrapnel and HE from the hills must have taken a heavy a toll on the Turkish trenches in the plain as well as on the British.

#34 Gully Ravine

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 10:37 PM

Michael

Could you provide me with a source reference to the Kiretch Tepe map you published on the forum on 20 Nov please?

I have a similar map but trench locations are at variance and I would like to explore further ...

Regards

Keith



#35 michaeldr

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:40 AM

Keith,

If it's the map in post #27 that you are referring to, then you should find it in the WD of the 11th Division, General Staff, October 1915 (I think that the NA ref. is WO/95/4299)
It should be worth your while looking at, since there are a couple of hand drawn maps together with it, giving the trench systems to the left (eg. the Boot) and the right of the ridge (part of this latter has now been added to post #39 below)

regards
Michael

Edited by michaeldr, 23 November 2010 - 08:17 AM.


#36 Gully Ravine

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:58 AM

Many thanks Michael - I'll get a copy ...

Keith

#37 Neil2

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 09:36 PM

Location of trench lines does seem to vary between maps, understandable perhaps given the map-making environment of the time. But I wonder: does anyone have a photo looking down the ridge due south from Jephson's Post? Is anything much visible?

#38 Neil2

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:02 AM

Michael et al - a concrete result now on the 4th Essex I feel sure. Looking at your map in Post 27 I see at the very bottom a Lone Tree Road and Lone Tree (Gully? can't make it out...) Going back over the war diaries, they state that on the 20th, after their advance, Btn HQ was established at Lone Tree Gully and that Capt. Tyler - killed in the advance - was buried at Lone Tree Hill. Is it is fair to assume the 4th Essex were in the line at the end of the path/trench/route leading on from Lone Tree Road? If so that would place them precisely where Martin G dropped his red pin in his post. I'd never been able to locate Lone Tree on Kiretch Tepe before - so many thanks for that map. Would it be possible to see that section of firing line any larger?

Neil

#39 michaeldr

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:05 AM

I'd never been able to locate Lone Tree on Kiretch Tepe before - so many thanks for that map. Would it be possible to see that section of firing line any larger?

Neil,

These may be of help to you, but please remember that they reflect the situation of the 11th Div as it was in late October

Posted Image
enlarged from the earlier post above

Posted Image
this map is noted 'Work done during last week in Red. Work to be done next week in Blue' and it is dated 25 Oct 1915

Posted Image
enlarged from the above

Despite the caveat, I hope that these help
Michael

#40 michaeldr

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:24 AM

Btn HQ was established at Lone Tree Gully and that Capt. Tyler - killed in the advance - was buried at Lone Tree Hill. Is it is fair to assume the 4th Essex were in the line at the end of the path/trench/route leading on from Lone Tree Road?

Neil,

Perhaps this is a coincidence, or perhaps not, but have you noticed that at the end of Lone Tree Gully, bounded to the north by Dublin Street and to the south by Munster Street, there is a triangular area identified as 'The Grave Yard'

regards
Michael

#41 Neil2

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:10 PM

Michael - thanks again. Noted that it's an October map but I don't think the front line would have changed much at all, notwithstanding the proliferation of reserve and communications works. And the Grave Yard makes perfect sense. There was a Lone Tree cemetery that was incorporated in 1919 into Azmak Cemetery and I think that surely this must be it. Capt Tyler was initially buried at "Lone Tree Hill" - and one can imagine that frontline burials would be best done behind a small rise of some sort rather than in any exposed position. My next mission then is to work out on a bigger modern map where these spots are (though I lack the overlay skills, I have to admit.)

Someone made the point - was it Andy R? - that he thought some of the paths were still visible on Google Earth's satellite imagery. Looking at them last night I think he is definitely right. Also - I see from this map that there is a large oblong area marked DUGOUTS behind Jephson's Post. On the satellite imagery there is a large ellipitical sandy area about the same distance behind where I think Jephson's Post must be. Given it was hard rock up there for the most part, it would seem logical that the dugouts marked would have to have been dug in an area of sand. If so, that would put Jephson's Post very slightly to the south of the crest rather than on the top itself.

Finally, on the first image of these three there is a black line going down diagonally left to right. This seems to fit exactly a geographical fold in the land on the satellite pictures. It dissects some small hummocks - also seen on the satellite pictures. Therefore, with a bit of application and a lot of squinting, I hope to pinpoint these locations precisely and see if there are any visible marks left. Will be back when I've found them.

#42 Neil2

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:19 PM

But no - I must be wrong. Jephson's was right on the very top, wasn't it?

#43 Neil2

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:57 PM

Back to the drawing board. Looks like the 1/4th Essex were on the Southern slopes.... Somewhere in the vicinity of 4020'0.72"N 2615'59.98"E - see lower red pin in image below.

Hi Martin. I think your co-ordinates are pretty accurate. Did you work them out from the diaries? Or have you come across a grid reference somewhere?


Neil.



#44 AndyR

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:38 PM

A little added detail - here is Hargrave's sketch (from At Suvla Bay) of Lone Tree Gully (he calls it Pear Tree Gully, but from his description of the area I'm sure it's the same place) - the "lone tree" is shown at the top of the gully on the map details that Michael added so the sketch can be located fairly precisely to that map
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Attached File  lone tree.JPG   39.56KB   0 downloads

#45 michaeldr

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:29 PM

That's a great sketch Andy; thanks for sharing it here

#46 Gully Ravine

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:28 PM

Taken May 2008 when Mrs vbeach and I first tackled this part of Kiretch Tepe Ridge (accompanied by the Plummed Goose, pictured). We believe this is Jephson's Post. In answer to Neil's query, if our location is correct, then Jephson's Post is just a few feet south of the ridge top, from where I took the photo.

Keith

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#47 Gully Ravine

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:33 PM

Again in response to Neil, here is a picture taken from around Jephson's Post looking down towards the plain (SE direction?).

Keith

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#48 Gully Ravine

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:51 PM

Finally (for now) ... I was very interested to see the trench map shown by micaheldr in post #27 - specifically the location of Lone Tree Gully.

I have another map which shows it to be in a slightly different position. I accept that trenches moved over time, but would expect the name of such a feature to stick?

Keith

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#49 Neil2

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 11:16 PM

Keith - thanks for those photos. And that sketch from Andy is great, a rare view from the ground. I was starting to think Jephson's must have been a little way down off the ridge top. The ridge top itself would have been horribly exposed after all. Keith - the map you've put on has much more detail in the contours and looks very like an area I was eyeing up for Lone Tree Gully on the satellite images on Google Earth. More squinting needed. Not far off the other position though, is it?

I've often wondered about the big step/bulge out at the south end of the Kiretch Tepe trench line - not exactly a "straightened" line, is it? I suppose the lay of the land and cover must have dictated final positions but also wonder if the advance of the 4th Essex on August 18 to straighten the line (a possible overshoot) accounts for it. These are a couple of extracts from letters published in September 1915 in The Burnham on Crouch newspaper from 4th Essex soldiers from Burnham: "Our biggest casualties occurred when we did an advance to take up a hitherto unoccupied position. We were ordered to go 300 yards, I understand, but actually went about 1,400, under a heavy fire. We are continually losing men here, most of these from shrapnel bursts as this whole part of the peninsular is under fire. Shrapnel is whizzing about as I write." Private E.G. Outen wrote to a friend in Burnham: "I dare say you will see it in the papers before long about the 1/4
th Essex making that advance. Well, it‟s quite right; we did it and that's the end of it. We made the Turks run in fact cleared them right out of that spot." It made the Burnham papers anyway!

Not sure if the first soldier's information on distances is correct but they clearly went a lot further than they thought the plan dictated - led, I think, by an Australian scout on their left flank, probably attached to D Company and Captain Tyler.

Neil.



#50 Martin G

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:44 PM

Neil2 - in answer to Post number 43 on how I plotted the coordinates, the short answer is that there was no diary reference (other than the 1/4th and 1/7th Essex and Bde War Diaries which I have read). There are 2 facts; that they were on the 90m contour and on the Southern slope trenches down from Jephson's Post. <BR><BR>As discussed we can get a very high quality fit for the contoured trench maps. It is simple to fit to the ridge line and the coast line so we have little error here. If sea-level and the spot heights are known and fitted, then in theory all interval contours should be correct. Following the trench line down is also easy as multiple map overlays agree where the trench line was. Again we can have a high degree of certaintly here. By getting a good map fit, and following the trench line down to the 90m contour we can identify the area within a small margin of error. Added to that, as you say later, the ground often dictated the location of trenches and a trained eye can still trace some of the trench lines on the satellite images on GE. There is a strong convergence of high quality information to support this as the location. Having walked the area in July, I am confident we are in the right location. <BR><BR>The caveat is that the contour maps were inaccurate (possible) and the trenches plotted on the maps were inaccurate. If the contours were inaccurate, from a practical point of view we can circumvent this by walking the ground. Turn SE from the peak at Jephson's post and walk along the bearing of the trench (hard work through the holly-oak scrub admittedly) with a hand-held satnav or Garmin watch until we see 90m altitude. From that point it might still be clear from the local features where the trench was. Walking along the 90m contour would also help establish the point. I know this method works well as I walked Suvla Bay extensively in Jul doing just this. The spot height readings are very accurate (within 2m) in most locations. I even have photos of my Garmin watch reading on a few spot heights ( I should really get a life). With reagrds to any inaccuracies in plotting the trenches, we know that Aer photos were used and are very accurate. We can have very little doubt that Aer photography was used to plot the trenches on the British Maps. Prof. Peter Doyle (GWF member) and Dr Peter Chasseaud's "Grasping Gallipoli - Terrain, Maps and Failure in the Dardanelles 1915" are the authority on this..... p. 246 "... While trench diagrams had been plotted for the Helles and ANZAC sectors as a result of close study of, and plotting from, aerial photos over a period of 3 months...... this information turned out to be accurate." It is reasonable to assume that as the Suvla campaign progressed, the same techniques were used. They also say on p.245 " Aerial reconnaisance and photography provided the most detailed and accurate information...." Essentially they make an excellent argument that it is one of the great untruths of Gallipoli that map and terrain intelligence was poor. If we accept that the trench maps were prepared from aer photos and that aer photos were the most accurate and detail resource, then we have the smallest margin for error when comparing to, say sketch maps made under fire without the ability to even stand up and look at the ground.. A cursory glance at the Dublin Castle aer photo from member Krithia (on the Dead Man's Gully thread ) with contemporary sketch maps of Dublin Castle exposes the relative weakness and inherent inaccuracies in sketches. For my money, trench maps prepared from aer photos gives us a much higher degree of certainty. GWF Member Thales has experience of interpreting aer photos in a previous life and may wish to add his thoughts. <BR><BR>I hope this explains how I got the grid ref. I think if you went to that grid ref you would be able to see the land and work out exactly where the trench was. Regards MG <BR><BR>P.S. One last point - maps were (eventaully) made available in abundance. Yesterday I went through Col Weston Jarvis (3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)) war diaries and papers held at Sharpshooter House in Croydon. He had no less than 5 copies of the 1:20,000 scale maps of Kiretch Tepe. All in near mint condition.



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